Rooting for Time

Ruth, a sandwich-generation sociologist with a nearly superhuman sense of time, suspects time itself is speeding up, and goes on a scientific and spiritual quest to save herself, her family, and the world.

Rooting for Time was awarded an honorable mention in the Chicago Writer’s Association First Chapter Contest.

About Rooting for Time

Living in an alternate version of the contemporary United States, Ruth is buckling under the combined stresses of family caregiving, her academic career, and the threats of rising fascism and climate chaos. Despite learning Buddhist meditation from her husband, her heart is skipping beats, and her once-perfect sense of time is slipping. Could it be more than just me? she wonders. But, she avoids following her hunch that time is speeding up because she learns that her distant and critical father Karl runs the new International Interdisciplinary Institute for the Study of Time.

After a collapse, Ruth takes refuge at a Wiccan-Jewish commune where her brother and sister-in-law live by their “Timefulness Manifesto.” They claim to communicate with long-dead ancestors, and have created a strange Talmudic tome of stories about Karl and his lineage. Despite their guidance, it isn’t until demagogue Maximillian “GOLD” is elected president that Ruth finally decides to face her father. At Karl’s think-tank she learns about the physics, biology, and psychology of time, coming to better understand along the way how her mother’s Parkinson’s disease and her stepson’s ADHD affect their senses of time. But can Ruth convince Karl and his colleagues that time may be speeding up, and that they should do more than study the problem? And can she do it before GOLD and his chronofascist cronies irreversibly accelerate the spacetime continuum?

Ruth noticed a sign at a sub shop with changeable letters proclaiming, “Be the Sandwich Generation!” She shook her head and sighed. She hated it when social science terms were drastically misused. And now that she herself had joined the generation of people caring for their aging parents and their own children at the same time, she knew it wasn’t a status anyone should aspire to. She wasn’t just sandwiched, she felt like she was being eaten alive, a panini flattened in a press grille and then macerated by a hungry customer. This sense of compression — of anxiety about time, about having too little of it, about it passing too quickly…it was definitely more than “sandwiched.” It was crunched and munched. It was… splunched.
from Rooting for Time
Rebecca S. Krantz

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